Buffalo Sabres vs. Los Angeles Kings Preview: Its Oktoberfest For Hockey
The Buffalo Sabres started the season with an impressive 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Helsinki, Finland. Now the Sabres travel from Helsinki to Berlin to take on the Los Angeles Kings who knocked off the New York Rangers on Friday as well.
The Sabres did not have the easiest of times getting to Berlin though as travel issues forced the team to land in Berlin a couple of hours late. Here is the account from John Vogl of the Buffalo News:
The Sabres landed in Berlin just before 3 a.m. today, two hours past their expected arrival following Friday's 4-1 victory over Anaheim in Helsinki, Finland. The team's departure was delayed by baggage problems, and the Sabres didn't go airborne in Finland until 1:50 a.m., which was 12:50 in Germany.
Whether the travel and the late arrival is going to affect the Sabres is yet to be seen as the Kings have to travel as well as they faced the Rangers in Stockholm yesterday. The Kings were a dangerous team last season as they finished 7th in the Western Conference and were able to acquire another couple of pieces. The biggest piece was Mike Richards, coming over via trade from the Philadelphia Flyers. Richards proved his worth in the opening game as he scored the game tying goal and registered an assist as well for the Kings. He had this to say to NHL.com after the game:
"It was nice to finally get started," Richards told NHL.com. "For me, there was a lot of anticipation to get this started."
The Sabres were led by their new captain and one of the new assistant captains as Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek each registered three points for the team, Vanek with two goals and an assist and Pominville with a goal and two assists. Their "top" line along with Luke Adam were the standout line for the Sabres against the Ducks and captain Jason Pominville was pretty pleased with the performance after the game:
"Overall, we can be pretty happy with our effort. It's definitely nice to get off to a good start," said captain Jason Pominville, who had a three-point night with a goal and two assists. "Our compete, our battles, everything we talked about was good. Our special teams were good. Millsie [Goalie Ryan Miller] right off the bat made some big saves to keep us in the game, and after that we were able to get the lead and play good with it."
The Sabres are also trying to erase the memories of the slow start they suffered from last season that almost derailed their playoff chances. The team started the season winning three of their first 14 games and found themselves in the basement of the Eastern Conference a month into the season. The Kings are going to be a bigger test for the Sabres as their offensive firepower is more balanced throughout the roster than the Ducks who have the offensive scoring juggernaut line of Getzlaf, Perry, and Ryan.
Game time is 2:00 pm and the game can be found on MSG and TSN2 for those in Canada. If you can't catch the game at 2, there will be another replay at 7 pm on MSG in Buffalo as well.